Celebrity for the week ending
Saturday, 25 April 2009

Dorothy Minto (1891-1958),
English actress and singer,
as Fi-Fi in a revival of
A Chinese Honeymoon,
Prince of Wales's Theatre, London, 28 January 1915

Dorothy Minto
Dorothy Minto

(photo: Rita Martin, London, circa 1910)

'A Chinese Honeymoon will always be memorable because it was the piece which made London acquainted with the peculiar charm and talent of Miss Lily Elsie. To many of us her singing of 'Egypt' in that piece at the old Strand Theatre is a treasured memory, while other and more notable doings have clean escaed. The play was sure of a kindly reception in these days of revivals if only for that memory; but we make no doubt that the few who are young enough not to remember the original production will have no fault to find with the new. Miss Carda Walker, at least, makes a very pretty Soo-Soo and sings and acts with plenty of charm. Instead of Miss Louie Freear as Fi-Fi we have Miss Dorothy Minto, and playing such a part as this must be for Miss Dorothy Minto a tour de force. Instead of roaring with laughter when the emperor declines the offer of her hand, one merely wonders at his bad taste; and all through one can only admire the thoroughness and cleverness of a very attractive lady in pretending to be hopelessly unattractive. Miss Dorothy Minto simply could not do it if she had not a robust sense of humour and plenty of talent - if she did not, indeed, prefer acting to looking pretty on the stage. Miss Marie George is as jolly and roguish as could be in Miss Marie Dainton's old part of the jealous Mrs. Pineapple, and her rotund spouse is heartily played by Mr. Alfred Wellesley. Mr. [Edward] Sass as the Emperor, Mr. [Arthur] Hatherton as Hi-Lung, Mr. [Lawrence] Robbins as Hatherton, Mr. [Kevan] Bernard as the Lord Chancellor and Miss Marie Daltra as the official mother-in-law all play up with energy, and the mounting and costumes are worthy of the occasion.'
(The Observer, London, Sunday, 31 January 1915)

A Chinese Honeymoon, programme, 1915

programme for the revival of
A Chinese Honeymoon,
Prince of Wales's Theatre, London, produced on 28 January 1915

(printed by G. Harmsworth & Co, Drury Lane, London, dated 3 February 1915)

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© John Culme, 2009